Author: Dominick Cardone

Since emerging from the teen ranks as a rising star, Dominick Cardone has established himself as one bodybuilding’s fastest growing talents. Now with an IFBB Pro Card to his name, Dominick has forged a reputable coaching service, where he diligently guides other athletes through contest prep to achieve their best lifetime condition. With lofty plans to grow his business in the coming years and return to the competitive field, be sure to keep an eye on whether he fulfills his massive potential in the sport.

Are you sure you don’t have time? Or are you making excuses?

Posted By Dominick Cardone on January 22, 2020

As a coach, I have been fortunate to work with people of all walks of life. Military, first responders, business owners, labor workers, stay at home parents, people in school, working multiple jobs and much more. With that being said, I have been able to see how busy people truly are and how much they prioritize things. What I must say is, often, we hear “I don’t have time”. Is this the truth when it comes to dieting and training? or is it self sabotage?

Let me tell you all a story, the week after my first show in 2010 my Dad asked me if I can train him to just get in shape. Well, a year later he competed in his first show at 46 years old and WON his class. Here is the kicker, he owns and runs a decorative concrete company. He doesn’t have people who work for him to do the work, he does it HIMSELF. At the time he was working 6-7 days a week, most days 6/7am into 8-9pm at night. Mind you, doing very rigorous labor work HIMSELF. I had him doing 2.5 hours cardio daily, zero carbs for way to long. He still managed to cook all his meals, never cheat, never miss a cardio session or a training session and never miss a meal. Whilst marinating family life with 4 kids and a wife. Do you really don’t have time or are you making excuses?

I have clients who run multiple businesses and are busy 7 days a week. Yet somehow, they do everything they have to do to a T while being successful with their ventures. I say this, your excuses are BULLSHIT. You make time for whats important to you. Time on social media, time watching tv or playing video games, or doing nothing adds up and can be time to your craft. Eating meals is not time consuming, cooking 2x a week is not time consuming. Training can very easily fit into a schedule. Its whats most important to you, how bad do you want it. I assure you, you have “time” to do this. Be better than your excuses, and grab the bull by the horns.

Should you hire a coach?

Posted By Dominick Cardone on December 17, 2019

So no body really discusses if you “need” a coach per say. To be honest, with years of experience of seeing so many different clients and learning their length of knowledge. I honestly feel most can benefit from a coach. There is way to much false information online. As well as so much different information, that a beginner will be confused. Even people who have been involved for so long, cant seem to find what works or figure whats true etc.

Working with a coach not only leaves out the guess work, but keeps you accountable. If your required to check in each week, most will stay on top of their plan. Especially if paying for a coach, most dont want to waste money. However, many DO waste money and time which is mind blowing to me. When hiring a coach, be honest and open with them. It will not only keep you accountable and help form a trust worthy relationship, but will help them better learn your body.

Leaving out guess work, will save you a lot of money and time. Especially in todays world of misinformation, and over complication. Youll hopefully be able to achieve your goal faster and maybe even see what worked for your body. I will say, if your using a coach to “learn”, most will not teach you what they do or explain everything. There is nothing wrong with this, but realize it is a thing and if thats not what your looking for, than seek out someone who will (obviously someone reputable). Find a coach whos past and current clientele meet up to your level of goals. Has the clients achieved wins or looks you are going for? Have any gone pro? Have any lost a significant amount of weight? Has the coach walked the walk you want to walk? All things to take into consideration. So by all means, I encourage everyone to seek out a coach that will help you achieve whatever it is you are looking to do!

Binge Eating After Contest? Good Idea?

Posted By Dominick Cardone on September 5, 2019

Im not Mr. Perfect….after my first show, I put almost 30lb’s on in a week.

I learned my lesson to say the least…

I see on social media people going all out for days after the show eating non stop. People do not realize how detrimental this can be, and I’m not talking physique wise. Yes, you will and can ruin insulin sensitivity, put fat on etc. But the main concern for me is internally. Massive amounts of water retention after being severely dehydrated, can put you in the hospital. I have seen it first hand with people. You are going to severely stress the kidneys, heart, gallbladder and even the liver.

To go from a low carb, low fat diet to extremes of both and sugar etc, and binge, is very foolish.

So I always tell my clients, hydrate night of the show and enjoy whatever. The next day which is usually Sunday, begin 2-3 gallons of water to start flushing out and enjoy food throughout the day. We than begin reverse dieting on Monday and adding cardio back in. You must slowly bring the food back in, your body must stabilize and find homeostatis again. Doing it this way will keep you lean, but your also going to grow like crazy. This phase is the post contest rebound. You are extremely lean, your body is super sensitive and like a sponge. So this is an amazing time to put muscle tissue on while perserving your health.

A little bit goes a LONG way. So remember guys, be smart. Yes the temptation is there, all pressure is off. But its not just about your physique, don’t kill yourself for food. Especially after working your ass off for months on end.

Bodybuilding Knowledge Bites With IFBB Pro Dom Cardone

Posted By Dominick Cardone on July 16, 2019

1. Can you bypass bad genetics?

– A common question is, “Do you think I have the genetics to go far?”. This isn’t an easy question to answer. The first thing that I usually say is, I don’t know what your ability to put on muscle is. Do you have the ability to continually adding quality muscle tissue, without blowing out your waistline or hurting your health? That is a time thing. Another factor of good genetics, is structure. Wide shoulders, small waist, small joints, big back and legs, how the muscles “tie in”, lines. All of these are genetic and cant be fixed with a supplement or product. It is god given. Sure you can work hard to bring up certain areas, but genetics will always tell the tale. Thats why they always said, you either got it or you don’t. If you could fix this, then we’d see MUCH more freaky up and comers. More people would be going pro and being successful on the pro stage. You can work as HARD as you want, but always, genetics will tell the tale.

2. How to bring up “weak” bodyparts”

– Let me start off by saying, most people who talk about weak points, usually barely even have a base. I usually say unless you’re a pro or top olympian, everything is a weak point. You should not stop training something just because it is a strong point. Train everything equally hard! That being said, let’s say you have a weak chest like me. For many years I trained my chest wrong. My shoulders would take over, my from was ballistic. I was ego lifting. So make sure your form is picture perfect. Next, are you actually training hard? A lot of people today think they are training hard, using scientific terms and weird techniques to sway away from actually working hard. TRAIN HARD AND GO TO FAILURE! If you’re eating a solid diet, taking supplements, and especially if taking gear, it is very hard to over train.

If all of these bases are covered, then you can look into possibly adding more. Maybe have a full heavy chest day Monday, and a “pump” chest day on Thursday. Before you do this, just make sure your actually training your chest to the max on the one day. Utilize peri workout nutrition with Raging Full and Aminotaur while you train. These can be great tools when trying to break through plateaus! Aside from all of this, you have to be really honest with yourself when addressing all these points.

Sodium and Bodybuilding with IFBB Pro Dom Cardone

Posted By Dominick Cardone on June 25, 2019

One of the biggest mistakes I had made personally was regarding sodium. For YEARS, I did not salt my food. I only relied on what was in condiments, which wasn’t enough. I was always flat as shows, clearly not enough to where it hurt my placings. But I could have for sure been better. People are usually scared of salt due to the public stigma that surrounds it…

We need sodium as humans to function. Proper hydration, muscle contraction, blood pressure control, organ health, blood flow and more. As bodybuilders, it’s ESPECIALLY important for building a physique. Sodium is a transporter of nutrients and we eat A LOT of food. Aside from having crazy pumps with sodium, it also helps give a fuller, harder look. As the muscle is made up of water as well, sodium helps us “hold” that water. When in prep, and especially low carbs, sodium and water are essential for having proper blood flow, contractions, and staying “fuller”. If you get in true contest peeled condition, then you can handle much more sodium and water than you think! I had some clients go upwards of 10,000mg! Of course not everyone is the same, and some are more sensitive than others.

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt and Celtic Sea Salt are my go to sources.

Make sure you measure how much sodium you are using so you know how to control that variable. Especially during peak week and when using diuretics. You should NOT be totally cutting sodium for days at a time. If a coach has you do this, RUN. Sodium also helps control certain hormones such as aldosterone. Cut sodium out, aldosterone rises and your body will hold water as a defence mechanism. So keep in mind that sodium is one of your most important tools!

“Expand your following, educate others, and increase your income”

Posted By Dominick Cardone on May 16, 2019

I am so sick of seeing ambassadors and sponsored athletes of companies, posting so lazily. The days of magazine ads and people buying supplements for how you look is DONE. Todays age supplements are more advanced, they do work, they do have more research and ambassadors are a dime a dozen. So what makes you special nothing? Nothing. Your main goal should not be to make money. Your main goal should be to HELP others genuinely. Now who doesn’t want to make money right? This should be a side effect of doing something out of passion and heart. Make helping and educating your following your passion and make sure you truly believe in those products from your heart.

Take the time to LEARN and READ about what your are posting. Do not just copy and paste info from your company site. You should know what is in each product, how it works and how to explain it simply. When you take the time to do this and present it to your following, they will appreciate that. In turn, you will start to earn their trust and now that, is priceless. If you truly are helping others and they trust you, they will forever support whatever you are promoting. But never ever lose sight of what you are doing. Do not ever get lost in the chase of a dollar. Be loyal to the brand you are representing, put in the work, put in the effort and all else will follow. Don’t just post a picture of a product saying “powered by”. Learn, read, educate the masses and repeat. To end, ALWAYS BE HONEST.

How to potentially fix bad cholestrol?

Posted By Dominick Cardone on April 2, 2019

This is not medical advice nor am I recommending you do this. Just personal opinion on some things I have done for myself. Cholesterol has a lot of misconceptions. A lot of studies show, cholesterol a lot of times doesn’t come from fats etc. It actually comes from high sugar intake as well. So normally if LDL’s are high, ill limit red meat intake and make sure no extra sugar is in diet. Ill than add in some cardio, cut back on CARBS. Yes, white carbs can throw cholesterol off and regular sugared foods and drinks. You do not want high LDL’s lingering long. This damage and build up in arteries over time will cause serious issues later on. So lets go through some of the steps I take to improve cholesterol. I can not take all the credit for this, Dante Trudel, has been one of my mentors and I am grateful to have him teach me many natural ways to improving overall health.

1. I do in fact cut back on the red meat. Eggs are FINE, that’s a myth they make cholesterol worse. But do cut back on red meat a bit.

2. Cut back on any extra sugars. Candy, drinks, etc. Sugar is not only awful for your physique, but it is terrible for cardiovascular function. High glucose in blood does in fact cause issues with arteries and will effect LDL’s.

3. White starchy carbs as well CAN effect LDL’s in some people. So ill actually cut back on them a bit and add in more fiberous veggies and EXTRA AD Fiber +.

4. Add in healthy fats. Coconut Oil, Mac Nut Oil, Avocado’s are some of my favorite. But do not forget your FISH OIL and a high quality KRILL Oil.

5. Supplementation here to bring lipids back to normal is pretty simple

– AD Heart +– 3 Daily
– Ubiquional- 200mg Daily
– Fish Oil- 2-3g AM and 2-3g PM
– Jarrows Krill Oil- 3 Daily
– Thorne Choleast- 3 Daily (ONLY IF LDL’s are severely high)
– Citrus Bergamot- 500mg AM and 500mg PM
– Make sure using MATADOR with all of your carb meals

6. Add in cardio. Get that blood moving, get those LDL’s broken down and out. You should always have some sort of cardio in play even in offseason for endurance, AND HEART health.

Remember, this is not medical advice, I am not a doctor or a medical professional. This is strictly my opinion.

Project AD IFBB Pro Dom Cardone delivering locked door seminar at Ares Nutrition, NJ

Posted By Dominick Cardone on February 20, 2019

IFBB Pro Dom Cardone & Joey D’Agostino hit the road and deliver an incredible locked door, invite only Q & A knowledge bomb seminar to a select number of customers at ARES NUTRITION (NJ) : 1061 Whitehorse rd, Hamilton NJ 08610

IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone Discusses ProjectAD Liver+

Posted By Dominick Cardone on January 21, 2019

Liver+ discussion with IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone : The most advanced liver detoxification and regeneration formula ever created.


The most Overlooked Supplement for Pro Bodybuilders by Dominick Cardone

Posted By Dominick Cardone on October 22, 2018

IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Dominick Cardone provides some strong truth’s all pro bodybuilders need to be aware of when competing and supplementing.


What is the most overlooked supplement for pro bodybuilders?


To be totally honest, there is way more than one overlooked supplement. I can name more than a dozen that would benefit pro bodybuilders.


What are they? Health supplements.


At the pro level it is known that the use of PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) is common, and these substances do have negative health effects.


You can, however, make an effort towards trying to prevent a lot of these problems with the correct supplements.


We can possibly prevent heart disease, kidney and liver issues with simply adding in a good stack of high quality supplements.


What are some of these things?


For liver, AD Liver + stacked with Tudca is IDEAL for liver health.


As for kidney health, Liver + by AD has a few ingredients for kidneys but I like to take it further with golden resources kidney stuff and astragalus.


Heart health, of course we have AD Heart + which is packed with heart healthy ingredients which are all licensed and certified.


I can go even deeper here but this is the general idea I have for the question.




If you’re aiming to compete in the pro ranks, then health supplementation needs to be at the forefront of your arsenal, not just muscle building and fat stripping compounds.


Take heed to Dom’s advice for a career built on longevity in your quest for bodybuilding domination. Stack up on the AD Wellness range here as your insurance.

The Ideal Time for Contest Prep by IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone

Posted By Dominick Cardone on October 19, 2018

IFBB Pro and #TeamAD prep coach Dominick Cardone shares some intriguing thoughts on the idea amount of time needed to come into the stage looking razor-sharp.




What is the ideal amount of time for a contest prep?


It always depends on how lean the person is starting out of course and history of being in shape.


If its someone who has never competed before and not to lean, then 16 weeks.


If they are lean, then I would say 12 weeks. 12 weeks is usually my standard for prep for most people.


I usually set most clients up to begin at 16 weeks out.


However, if it’s someone who’s body is stubborn and based on history they aren’t the easiest to get in shape, then I will put them through it at 16 weeks.


So is there really a set number? No. However, you need to be able to know what your body will do in X amount of time.


Another note I’d like to add is, don’t wait for prep to start with a coach.


Start in the off-season, let them learn your body and set you up their way for prep. This will help lead for a more successful contest prep.




While 12 weeks may be the magic number for Dom, starting contest prep with a solid off-season is clearly fundamental to ensuring prep goes smoothly.

When to Introduce Cardio in Your Contest Prep by Dominick Cardone

Posted By Dominick Cardone on October 19, 2018

IFBB Pro and contest prep coach Dominick Cardone discusses the right time to introduce cardio into your contest prep.


When should somebody introduce cardio into contest prep?

In my opinion, right off the bat at the start. Why wait for later on?


You don’t know the state your body will be in if you wait to start it.


My thing is to be ready early, and if you are ready early then it simplifies things much more towards the end of prep.


Cardio is NEEDED to become truly peeled. Not just in shape, but true, peeled contest conditioning.


Ask ANY old school coach or bodybuilder and they will agree.


There is this new thinking that you can get away with minimal cardio and high food. Well, based on recent years showings, this isn’t really working out.


So jump on the cardio right away, kill it and best case scenario is you pull back on it towards the end.




Cardio is a necessity, not optional. Follow Dom’s advice by including it from the start to get the most out of your contest prep.

Overcoming Bad Genetics: What The Pros Do! – with IFBB PRO Dominick Cardone

Posted By Dominick Cardone on October 4, 2018

Are genetics the be-all and end-all when it comes to determining the amount of muscle you can add to your physique? IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone has his say, with tricks on how to overcome poor genetics.


Overcoming Bad Genetics: What The Pros Do!

To start, if you’re a true IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, you certainly don’t have bad genetics (Unless you won your pro card in a not so competitive class etc).


However, to maybe break past genetic weak points, I’ve found that genetically weak body parts are usually those that someone has trouble connecting to such as my chest.


It takes true mind-muscle connection, and maximum recruitment of those muscle fibers to grow.


Of course, follow by proper nutrition and supplementation to follow.


TUT is a great method to overcome these plateaus. A higher frequency type of training from time to time can’t hurt either in which you are constantly filling the muscle up with blood and nutrients. It’s a good way to shock but won’t give the dense look.


You must constantly be looking for ways to shock the muscle and cause full muscle fiber recruitment.




Genetics are important, but willpower, discipline and commitment to the cause, combined with a well-honed mind-to-muscle-connection can be your best weapons against them.

Calf Training Hacks with IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone

Posted By Dominick Cardone on October 4, 2018

Is calf training solely genetic? We ask IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone for his opinion as he shares some interesting genetic history and training methods to date!


Calf Training Hacks


I never had great calves. I took after my mom in the calf department! My Dad doesn’t even need to train calves and they are massive.


This being said, calves are genetic. You either have them or you don’t! High inserted calves will never allow you to build thick calves.


However, you can get a nice diamond shape and some good detail giving off an illusion.


Your calves are used to being used daily. Walking, going up steps, lifting things etc.


They are constantly under stress and have adapted to this. What does this mean? You must KILL them till there’s nothing left.

I’ve found super high volume, heavy weight with good form, and totally destroying them will force some sort of growth.


You must break them past the feeling of adaptation.


It truly takes pure willpower, and mind of matter to do this. You must go to a place that’s not in the present and push past the pain. I will discuss some methods in the video to follow.




Calves may be more dependant on genetics than other body parts, but that’s not an excuse not to thrash them like you would any other. Train calves with no mercy, and results are inevitable.

IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone Discusses Time Under Tension & Does it Matter?

Posted By Dominick Cardone on October 4, 2018

We sit down with one of the most respected pro’s in the game, IFBB bodybuilder Dominick Cardone, as he shares thoughts on the concept of “Time Under Tension” (TUT) and its importance to muscle growth.


Time under tension – Does it matter?


One thing for sure we know about training is, there is more than “one way to skin a cat”.


I personally love time under tension.


For most of my career, I always was ballistic with heavy weight. It worked due to my genetics and because of the volume with heavy weight. However, it didn’t get me the “Dense” look I could’ve had.


I’ve come to find that TUT, is needed to truly recruit all the muscle fibers for maximum stimulation.


Of course, with certain movements and situations, a big of a faster tempo will be needed, such as higher volume pump workouts, or athletes looking for more endurance gains such as football players etc.


But to build true, thick, dense muscle, TUT is the way to go. You want to fully maximize the mind to muscle connection when doing so to truly reap the benefits. I will discuss different ways to approach this in the video.




In order to maximise hypertrophy, Dominick is a firm believer that the stress you impose upon the muscles via TUT is the way to go. With a physique like his and his clients’ results, it’s difficult to disagree with his logic!

The Truth Behind Getting Stage Lean with IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone

Posted By Dominick Cardone on August 23, 2018

We asked our team to get together and share their best tips for peaking in top condition for competition. Sharing here today is IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone:

1) Best advice for peak week?


Peak week isn’t a magical week that will get you in shape. Two things that can be done: you can be fuller and drier. You can’t fix fat that’s left!

It is imperative all fat is off prior so that peak week you can focus on becoming full and dry. Mainly dry, as most people do not need to be as full as they think.

2) What stage out should you start your prep?

It really depends. For me personally, I’ve always done 12 weeks out. Some clients I work with start at 16 weeks out to bring them down really slow and have them ready early.

You shouldn’t be going into a 12 week prep really out of shape. Use the couple of weeks before to clean it up then go into prep.

3) What key strategies do you use to give you/clients an edge on the competition?

Pose pose pose – there is no excuse for bad posing on stage. It is a bodybuilding show – we pose. So there should be no reason why posing is bad. You should be able to execute the poses perfectly and have endurance with posing.

Another tip I’d give is to make sure you are taking health supplements. Healthy organs make body functions that much better.

In doing so, it will reflect on the outside and will help you achieve a cleaner more crisp physique. Heart +, Liver + should be staples in everyone’s regiment. As well as Fiber +, Grazed and Ravenous for overall gut health.

IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone

–       Contest Prep Coach

–       Project AD Athlete

–       2014 NPC Nationals HW Champion

Muscle Growth Hacking Q & A with IFBB Pro Dominick Cardone

Posted By Dominick Cardone on July 26, 2018

muscle growth hacking with IFBB Pro Dom Cardone

In this new series of Q & A’s, we tap into the knowledge base of some of the most respected and knowledgeable heads in the industry, starting with Project AD IFBB Pro bodybuilder Dominick Cardone.

1) Is it best to vary rep ranges when training solely for hypertrophy/muscle gain, or is there a sweet spot bodybuilders should generally stick to?

I prefer to vary them based on my current training cycle.

For example: If I am in a volume-based phase it may be 12-20 depending on the movement and goal.

You don’t want to stick with the same range ALL the time per say because body will adapt.

The human body is so amazing that it can pick up on patterns overtime and truly adapt. This is why I cycle my training phases with my clients.

2) What is the optimal training frequency for muscle growth?

Again, nothing is set in stone.

Depending on your bodies ability to recover, the goal and the body part we can’t give a clear number on this.

This too I like to cycle if need be. For the most part I like keeping everything 1x per week, mainly if training with a progressive overload type of training. With this type of stimulus the CNS system is under great stress and so are the joints.

I also believe in most cases less is more.

Hit it hard, heavy and to failure and get out – let the body heal for the rest of the week.

Let’s not forget to all body parts are sometimes used as a secondary muscle group at some point.

So it’s really important to pay attention to recovery factors. If a body part needs to be brought up, then you can train it a second time during the week, or possibly more.

3) Training twice per day: are there any circumstances where you would advise this for muscle growth if somebody has the time?

Very far and few cases will I recommend this.

If we refer back to question 2, recovery must be paid attention to. Training 2x per day can be done if not going to complete failure, recovery and supplementation is locked in and it can be used as a way to boost metabolism towards end of prep if pulling back on cardio.

However, I personally don’t like training with weights 2 x a day.

Dom CardoneIFBB Pro Dominick Cardone

–       Contest Prep Coach

–       Project AD Athlete

–       2014 NPC Nationals HW Champion